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Typical McKinsey PEI questions?

Anonymous A asked on Jul 15, 2019 - 3 answers
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Francesco
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replied on Jul 16, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

the PEI at McKinsey is structured around three key dimensions, leadership, impact and drive. I have provided a description for them below:

1) Leadership is about leading a whole team in a challenging situation and showing team management skills. Questions include:

  1. Give me three examples of a time that you lead a group. 

  2. What are some key lessons you have learned about motivating people? 


Here you want to emphasize how you overcome a difficult situation leading a team.

2) Personal Impact is mainly based on persuading someone about doing/not doing something. Questions include:

  1. Tell me about a time that you persuaded your boss to go along with an idea you had.
  2. Tell me about a difficult situation where you had to rely on your communication skills. 


Here you want to emphasize your influence on someone else, usually in disagreement with you.

3) Entrepreneurial Drive is about implementing something overcoming major difficulties. Examples include:

  1. What was a situation where you set a major goal and been able to achieve it?
  2. What has been your major accomplishment so far?

Here you want to emphasize the achievement you reached and the process that led you there.

Besides the previous dimensions, common questions also include:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why consulting
  • Why McKinsey
  • Why should we hire you

Best,

Francesco

Vlad
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replied on Jul 15, 2019
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Hi,

The interviewer usually asks 3 sets of questions:

1) “Tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”- this is how Consultants usually begin the interview. It's an opportunity for them to learn about you and to pick some interesting facts. Don’t lose this opportunity since the 1st impression is usually the strongest.

2) “Why consulting?”, “Why McKinsey” questions are used to assess your motivation to be a consultant in general and to work in that particular firm. They will check how you have done your homework and what you’ve learned about them. They also want to make sure that you have a clear intention to work in consulting. "Why consulting" is a question about you and your career path. "Why McKinsey" is more about a particular company and even particular local office.

3) Next, the interviewer will also ask you to provide examples from your background:

  • Leadership
  • Personal impact (How you persuaded someone)
  • Achievement / entrepreneurial drive (depending on the office)

At the end of the interview, you will also have an opportunity to ask your questions to the interviewer. Most of the candidates disregard this part in the preparation, while it is a great chance to demonstrate the intellectual capacity and build some relationship with the interviewer.

Best!

Robert
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replied on Jul 17, 2019
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